Syrian stranded in Dubai files lawsuit against Trump's ban

Syrian stranded in Dubai files lawsuit against Trump's ban
3 min read
01 February, 2017
A Syrian doctor stranded in Dubai after his US visa was cancelled has filed a lawsuit in Chicago against President Donald Trump's controversial Muslim ban.
Trump's Muslim ban has sparked protests and a backlash from much of the globe [Anadolu]

A Syrian national stranded in Dubai after his US visa was cancelled has filed a lawsuit in Chicago against President Donald Trump's controversial Muslim ban, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Amer al-Homsi, a 24-year-old resident of internal medicine at Advocate Christ Medical Centre in Oak Lawn, Illinois has been stuck in the United Arab Emirates since Sunday. He was stopped at the Dubai airport as he attempted to return home.

He had flown days earlier to the UAE, where he is a legal resident, to get married.

Immigration officers at the airport seized Homsi's passport and ordered him to a secondary screening area, according to the lawsuit.

After handing over his mobile phone, answering questions, and having his luggage searched, the young doctor was told he was refused entry into the US based on the executive order signed by Trump in January, banning entry of nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries, including Syria.

"All of these dreadful consequences are the result of him being a member of the Muslim faith that is now being treated differently in the United States in stark violation of the First Amendment", which guarantees of freedom of religion, the lawsuit read.

Homsi, who has been a resident through the University of Illinois at Chicago since August, has an apartment near the hospital in Oak Lawn and possessed two types of travel visas – one issued to those enrolled in educational opportunities and another more general travel visa, according to the lawsuit.

"This is a doctor who has patients here in Chicago. He's the epitome of why these visas exist, to encourage people from foreign countries to come here and study and learn," his lawyer, Thomas Anthony Durkin, told the Tribune.

"This is a terrible humanitarian tragedy, and I can't believe that he's the only one suffering like this."

In addition to threatening his future as a doctor in the US, the cancellation of Homsi's visa may lead to his forced return to war-torn Syria, according to Durkin.

Several authorities and organisations in the US have already filed lawsuits challenging Trump's "illegal and unconstitutional" travel ban, which has which sparked protests and a backlash from much of the globe this week.

The top prosecutor in the state of Washington as well as the Council on American-Islamic Relations separately announced lawsuits against the Trump administration on Monday, vowing to challenge the controversial ban 

"No one is above the law – not even the president," Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson told a news conference.

"And in the courtroom, it is not the loudest voice that prevails. It's the Constitution."